I thought that I was a great parent until my children started getting older and I faced challenges that I did not know how to deal with. Then I came across Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) and started to use it in my day to day life and, in particular, in dealing with my children. The most powerful NLP tools for me were its presuppositions. I would like to share a few of these with you so that they can have the same positive effect on your parenting skills as they did on mine. NLP Presuppositions are beliefs that guide and have guided the development of NLP. They are not necessarily true, but it has been found that they produce useful results. I have practiced and adopted these presuppositions and you can too. They will provide you with tools enabling you to be an effective parent giving your child a childhood journey to remember.
1. The map is not the territory and people respond according to their map of the world.
We all take in lots of information (made up of external events) through our five senses. We then make our own internal representations which is our map of the world. This is different for everyone. This internal map we create of the world outside is influenced by what we call filters in NLP. These are our perceptions, beliefs and values.
As a parent, we need to realise that our map of the world will be different from that of our child. It is therefore very important that we can see the world through the eyes of our children. See what they are seeing, hear what they are hearing and feel what they are feeling. This has been very useful for me with my children in understanding and relating to them as they are growing older.
2. The Meaning of Communication is the Response you get.
As a parent, the responsibility of communicating with your child lies with you. There are many times when you might have said something and your child seems to think that you said something different or misunderstood you. Do not blame your child for this. Think of a different way of communicating the same thing.
3. There is no failure only feedback
This means that in whatever you do there will be an outcome. If it is not the desired outcome, then that does not mean that there has been a failure. As a parent, it is important to remember that when your children make a mistake or do not do a good job then you should not criticise them. Give them feedback.
I love using the feedback sandwich. In a feedback Sandwich you first say What was good (acknowledge what they did, the effort they made and what you appreciate about it. You then say What could be better for next time ( NOT what was bad. Have them focus on what you want and not on what you don’t want) and Lastly, you say Overall, what was great (a summary of what worked well and round it off on a positive note) It is amazing how well a child responds to feedback when it is given positively.
4. People are not their behaviour